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Welcome Letter from Principal

 

Dear Families:

It is with enthusiasm that we welcome you to the Bayville Elementary Schools! The Bayville schools offer children in grades K-5 stimulating and rigorous learning opportunities within a safe, nurturing and supportive setting. A partnership of teachers, staff, parents and the community at large works together to create an environment that fosters the intellectual, social, emotional and physical development of every child. By providing instruction that informs, inspires and challenges, we hope to instill a love of learning that continues throughout children’s lives. Our goal is to help each child develop an enthusiasm for learning, a respect for self and others and the skills to become a creative, independent thinker.
 
In our schools, we embrace the challenges of the future while we continue to cherish and celebrate the traditions of the past. It is our remarkable staff, involved parents and eager children who come together to make the Bayville schools such a wonderful place.
 
We hope your visit to our website will give you a quick snapshot of life at our schools.  Please explore our links to find out more about the Bayville Elementary Schools and our programs.


Sincerely,  

Scott McElhiney          Dorothy McManus
Principal                      Assistant Principal
 

 

 

 

Bringing Community Together for Halloween

kids in Halloween costumes

Elementary students dressed in their Halloween costumes went from door to door, trick-or-treating on Sunday, Oct. 28. They didn’t confuse the date for the real Halloween – they went to classrooms at Locust Valley High School, where the student government sponsored Safe Halloween, providing the community’s children with a safe and fun trick-or-treating experience.

Each classroom had a theme, designed and run by members of various high school clubs. The Robotics Club, for example, held a trivia competition complete with electronic buzzers. There was also mummy wrapping, face painting, bowling, arts and crafts and more. In each room, children were given Halloween candy, leaving them with full buckets by the end of the day.

From school families to staff members, the community came together, bringing their children to celebrate, play and show off their costumes. Patrick DiClemente, who attended his first Safe Halloween as the new high school principal, said the event was a great success. 

“Sunday was a proud day as our youngest and oldest students, our staff members and residents joined together for an event filled with many smiles, outstanding costumes and a positive community atmosphere,” he said.





Reinforcing Fire Safety

fire safety collage
Bayville firefighters shared lifesaving tips with students at Bayville Primary School during the fire department’s annual visit on Oct. 19. Reinforcing fire safety tips that are taught to students as part of the primary school curriculum, Bayville’s bravest donned their firefighting gear to show the children that although they may look scary in their protective pants, jackets, helmets and facemasks, they are there to help and children should not hide from them. 

They also demonstrated the Darth Vader-type sound that is heard when they breathe through their oxygen masks. “When you hear that sound, you know help is there,” said firefighter Rashad Abdel. He and his fellow firefighters reminded the children in kindergarten through second grade that they need to have an escape plan and a meeting place that they’ve determined ahead of time with their families. Some other safety rules shared included not rescuing pets or toys themselves, staying low to the ground and, of course, calling 911 for help. 

While the fire safety tips were the most important part of the day, the opportunity to sit in the fire trucks was surely the highlight for this audience. 

Many thanks to the members of Bayville Fire Company No. 1 for taking time out of their busy schedules to promote fire safety to the Bayville Primary School students!



 
 

Bilingual Night Builds School/Community Relationships

Photo Collage
A two-night event brought 85 Spanish-speaking parents together in an effort to improve the community/school relationship and facilitate an increase in parental involvement. Bilingual Night was held at Bayville Primary School and Ann MacArthur Primary School on Oct. 16-17. Parents from the elementary, middle and high schools were invited to attend.
 
Facilitated by Cyndy Ergen, a teaching assistant at Locust Valley Intermediate School, the program covered topics including ways in which parents can obtain support for their children in academics and where they can find information and homework assignments. They were offered assistance in filling out forms and told who to call at the schools for various topics. Attendees were shown that the district website, at www.lvcsd.k12.ny.us, has an option to translate pages into a variety of languages, an option that helps non-English-speaking parents stay informed.
 
Ms. Ergen assists in translating for the district, by speaking with Spanish-speaking families and translating documents that are sent home. She said the attendees of the bilingual nights were thankful for the information shared. “They were very happy with all the information we gave them because they want to stay involved in their children's academic lives,” she said.
 
District employees and representatives from outside organizations provided information about services available to families, as Ms. Ergen translated what they were saying.

In its fourth year, the event has proven successful and helpful to district families. Many thanks to Ms. Ergen for her efforts.

Apple Detectives Investigate

A student works on her apple project

A classroom full of desks with plates of apple slices in front of each student usually indicates snack time. However, in Victoria Shishkoff’s first-grade class at Bayville Primary School, this scene is part of a collaborative lesson that teaches math, science, writingand art. Ms. Shishkoff wanted to expand on the apple theme and 
provide an opportunity for the students to have a hands-on experience.

Students were given red, green and yellow apple slices and asked to predict if they would be sweet or sour, if they would sink in water and what color the fruit would turn when soaked in various liquids. They measured the apple slices using various manipulatives, such as cubes, and they stamped the fruits with paint to create pictures.

Ms. Shishkoff said the first-grade curriculum includes lessons on the life cycle of plants, the parts of an apple and how plants protect themselves, so incorporating apples into other lessons was a positive crossover that led to increased learning.  Drawing, graphing, predictions and descriptive writing were incorporated, keeping these young apple detectives engaged and interested.

“I was thrilled with the result of our investigation,” Ms. Shishkoff said. “Giving students the ability to be independent thinkers and make their own decisions based on their very own investigations created a high level of engagement in the activity, therefore increasing the learning.” 

Bayville Primary School Assistant Principal Dorothy McManus said the activity was not only creative, but also inclusive of many learning objectives, making it the perfect lesson. “The entire class was engaged in several interdisciplinary modalities, while feeling independent and having a great time,” she said.

 

Empowering Students with Flexible Seating

Two students sit on yoga balls

Second-graders in Dani Schatz’ class at Bayville Primary School are often given choices as to where they would like to sit during a lesson. What makes these choices unique is that they can choose the type of seat, not just the location of that seat. Students can be found sitting on scoop rockers and yoga balls or working at standing desks and on stools while Ms. Schatz walks around the room leading various lessons.

The concept of flexible seating is one that Ms. Schatz researched prior to instituting, with the goal of providing the right work environment for each student. “Every student’s ideal work environment isn’t necessarily sitting at a desk,” she said. “Research shows that when you give students a choice in their physical environment they feel more responsible and empowered, which leads them to completing their work more efficiently.”

Her classroom contains various types of seats, some on the floor, others with writing tables attached. Students are given the opportunity to choose their preferred seating before certain lessons begin. Ms. Schatz said she notices that using the flexible seating options has become a large motivator for students. 

“When they choose the seat that makes them most comfortable, they become more attentive.”  She added that giving them such choices shows students that she trusts them, which gives them a sense of pride and confidence.

Anthony Davidson, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, said flexible seating channels children’s natural need for movement, allowing for the fact that for some children, the opportunity to fidget and move actually increases focus and attention. 

“When educators like Ms. Schatz recognize that sitting still is not an option for many young people and offer flexible seating, students are empowered, their performance increases and negative behaviors decrease,” he said.